Rick Warren cops it from Todd Friel… and if you’re like me you will have no idea who Todd Friel is.
He’s got a show with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort and together they cane Rick Warren (who they refuse to name, which is ridiculous, since they told you enough about him to figure out who he was in a second!). Their gripe with Rick Warren was that he wasn’t preaching the whole gospel, and that this would leave people unconverted, when they think they actually are.
Well guess what, folks… people who think they’re “saved” but are not will work it out really quickly… because they DON’T have the loving God alive inside of them (the Holy Spirit). If ya don’t have the Holy Spirit inside you, you have no assurance, no capacity for true repentance from dead works, none of the “power to be a son/daughter of God”.
The heart of the debate here is about what the heart of the message of Christ actually is… what is the Gospel? These guys say it’s about pounding home the message of God’s wrath (that he hates the sinner) so that the sinner will be thrown onto the mercy of God for salvation. The other side of the argument says, “Well heck. A sinner knows he’s a sinner. All he/she’s ever known is the ‘torment’ of life without God. So show them the love of God.”
So where’s the right place to sit in all this? My answer: it depends. The Gospel — broadly — is all of the above, but what it needs to be for the individual person you’re talking to is about what you’re prompted to say by the Holy Spirit to the person in question. There is no formula gospel. Jesus didn’t throw sliders to every batter. He had a different pitch for each soul he encountered… because he was getting his calls from his Father, who knew what each person needed to hear.
It might be the love of God, it might be the destructiveness of sin, it might be the Father’s wrath.
So ditch the formula… for God’s sake!